A HIDDEN GEM IN THE HEART OF BERLIN
WITH ITS HIGH-STREET FASHION AND OVERPRICED COFFEE SHOPS, it’s hard to imagine that the intensely gentrified Mitte neighborhood was once occupied by radicals, anarchists and artists that flooded into the abandoned area of former East Berlin in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Haus Schwarzenberg, an arts and culture haven spread throughout one of the only remaining prewar buildings in the area, is a hidden gem that gives a rare hint of this vibrant history.
If you can locate its discreet entryway off of Rosenthaler Straße and pass through its dimly lit corridor, you will find yourself in a courtyard that is covered in an overwhelming collage of street art by famous and emerging artists from around the world. Every surface is alive with ever-changing and brightly colored images and text in spray paint, wheat paste and stickers.
Beyond its street art–covered walls one can browse artists’ books in the Neurotitan bookshop or take in exhibitions in its gallery, see an indie film in Kino Central art house cinema, watch live music in Eschschloraque nightclub or explore the Dead Chickens’ Monsterkabinett museum, filled with moving robots, monsters and creatures artist Hannes Heiner created out of scavenged materials. For a more historical experience, there’s also the Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind Museum, a preserved broom factory that Weidt used to employ and hide many blind and deaf Jewish people who came under threat of the Nazis, and a museum dedicated to the life of Anne Frank.